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Zoomcar’s failure to launch

Car-sharing service provider Zoomcar's decade-long journey in India has been tumultuous, marked by a series of pivots and strategic moves that have not worked out for the company. It now plans to list on NASDAQ, taking the SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) route.

Zoomcar’s failure to launch

Monday March 06, 2023 , 4 min Read

HCL Technologies expects to double its semiconductor services business in three-to-four years. 

Electric mobility startup DAO EvTech has drawn up plans to invest Rs 100 crore in Tamil Nadu and employ about 2,000 people by 2025. 

India's per capita income in nominal terms has doubled to Rs 1,72,000 in 2022-23 compared to Rs 86,647 in 2014-15. However, uneven income distribution remains a challenge, data from National Statistical Office (NSO) shows.

In other news, United Nations members have agreed on a unified treaty to protect biodiversity in the high seas. The agreement represents a turning point in the fight for conservation in a region that has suffered from a patchwork of confusing international laws. 

Prosthetic limbs have been around for some time. Now, roboticists and engineers are asking another question: can extra fingers or arms help humans work with greater efficiency?

And finally, National Geographic photographer Kiliii Yüyan shares tips on how to take stunning photos using a phone. 

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • Zoomcar’s pivots and its failure to launch
  • Keeping a 1,300-year-old art form alive 
  • Product market fit with JJellyfish’s Jen Abel 

Here’s your trivia for today: Which fellow dystopian taught George Orwell, famous for novels such as Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, at Eton College?


Mobility

Zoomcar’s failure to launch

Car-sharing service provider Zoomcar's decade-long journey in India has been tumultuous, marked by a series of pivots and strategic moves that have not worked out for the company. It now plans to list on NASDAQ, taking the SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) route. 

Out of fuel:

  • Zoomcar will merge with blank check firm Innovative International Acquisition in a deal worth $456 million.
  • It has raised $264 million in funding so far from investors including Sequoia Capital, Mahindra & Mahindra, and SternAegis. 
  • The company hasn’t turned a net profit to date and reported a loss of Rs 73.56 crore in the financial year 2021-2022 on revenue of Rs 230.23 crore. Its biggest loss was in FY 2020-2021—Rs 427.41 crore—mainly due to COVID-19.
Zoomcar's multiple pivots


Inspiration

Keeping 1,300-year-old art form alive 

Kasuti is a 1,300-year-old traditional folk craft form with a geographical indication (GI) tag, mostly seen in north Karnataka regions like Dharwad, Hubli, and Bijapur. In Kannada, kai means ‘hand’ and Suti means ‘cotton thread,’ which refers to the work done using hand and cotton thread. 

Arati Hiremath, Founder of Artikrafts, is keeping this art form alive for the past 30 years.

Weaving magic:

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman wore a red silk saree made by Artikrafts on Budget day 2023.
  • Artikrafts earns a revenue of around Rs 40 lakh a year, and holds minimal investments, with only a few overdrafts. 
  • Its clients include Fabindia, iTokri, Jaipur.com, and ajio. It is also planning to launch its own website soon.
Artikrafts


Interview

Product market fit with JJellyfish’s Jen Abel

With JJELLYFISH, Jen Abel has been helping global startups and Fortune 500 companies in their 0-1 to 1-10 journey in the US. She holds a decade of early-stage startup experience in the initial go-to-market and execution. 

ABCs:

  • When startups never find product market fit, it is usually because they get early-stage sales wrong, Abel says.
  • According to Abel, waiting to get into the US market (for a startup founder) is futile. She says that the longer one waits to get into the market, the harder it is to find the product-market fit. 
  • Startup founders will also do well with having patience while their company grows. Abel says that hitting the first million takes time anywhere, but in the US, it takes longer than one might assume.
Jen Abel


News & updates

Modest growth: China set a growth target of “around 5%” for 2023, according to Premier Li Keqiang’s government work report released Sunday. 

Liftoff: The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) tried to debut its new flagship rocket H3 on Febuary 16, but that attempt was aborted when the vehicle's two solid rocket boosters failed to ignite as planned. The next launch is planned for March 7. The satellite will then study our planet in detail for a variety of applications.

Missing pieces: Researchers believe a new technique–known as proteomics–could allow them to identify the proteins from which our predecessors’ bodies were constructed and bring new insights into the past 2 million years of humanity’s history.


Which fellow dystopian taught George Orwell, famous for novels such as Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, at Eton College?

Answer: Aldous Huxley. The Brave New World author taught George Orwell French at Eton College


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